Ozempic Could Impact Spending More Than Artificial Intelligence

Ozempic and other revolutionary weight loss drugs will reshape consumption, which could have a greater impact on the world than artificial intelligence and influence future technology spending.

By Larry Walsh

Economists and analysts anticipate that artificial intelligence will contribute over $1 trillion to the U.S. economy. The technology’s impact on employment is profound, with estimates suggesting that 40% to 90% of all jobs could be redefined or displaced as more AI systems are deployed. Furthermore, investments in AI tools and resources are expected to soar from $40 billion this year to over $150 billion by 2027.

The numbers associated with AI are indeed staggering. However, there’s another innovation poised to make an even more significant impact: weight-loss drugs like Ozempic (and, just like that, you heard the jingle). This new wave of pharmaceuticals is spurring a downstream impact trend that analysts have dubbed the “Ozempic Economy,” which is expected to revolutionize how people consume a wide range of products and services and have far-reaching implications for economic activity.

The Ozempic Economy is already causing ripples across the food industry. The drug effectively reprograms the brain to reduce appetite and has led some users to report a diminished taste for certain foods, especially fast food and snacks. Considering that the average American spends roughly $500 annually on chips, candy, and other snacks, and with the global snack-food market valued at $439 billion, the implications are significant.

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But the effects extend beyond just snack foods. The restaurant and hospitality sectors are bracing for change as people shift toward eating smaller portions, potentially leading to a decrease in orders and revenue. Moreover, Ozempic has been shown to reduce the desire for alcohol, which is often the most profitable item for many restaurants.

The airline industry might see unexpected benefits too. Analysts estimate that United Airlines, the fourth-largest U.S. carrier, could save up to $80 million in fuel costs if every passenger were to lose 10 pounds.

In addition, weight-loss drugs like Ozempic could fundamentally reshape healthcare. By controlling obesity, we could see a reduction in the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases that tax the healthcare system. While this seems beneficial at first glance, it’s worth noting that the U.S. healthcare system constitutes 14% of the gross domestic product. A significant decrease in health issues could, paradoxically, dent the medical and pharmaceutical industries’ revenue.

We’re already observing changes in business and consumer spending patterns resulting from inflation and increasing costs. More people are forgoing dining out and spending on nonessential comforts. While indulging in luxury goods and fine dining is enjoyable, many consumers argue that the expense is no longer justifiable. Similarly, businesses are optimizing their operations through automation and staff reductions to cut costs. As reported by Channelnomics, 86% of partners are implementing cost-cutting measures in response to inflation. The Ozempic Effect could further amplify the current trend of inflation-driven cost reduction we’re witnessing today.

The potential impact of the Ozempic Effect on the broader economy is critical, especially as it may influence IT spending. The current long-term forecast for IT investment prioritizes automation to support businesses facing an aging workforce, a shrinking labor pool, and the need for increased productivity. While AI is expected to drive much of this investment, the evolving landscape shaped by weight-loss drugs may shift these needs.

The juxtaposition of AI and weight-loss drugs as catalysts for economic transformation highlights a broader truth: We’re on the cusp of a new era. Today’s innovations, whether in technology or healthcare, are reshaping our society in ways that are both exhilarating and unpredictable. It’s a world shaped not just by code or algorithms but by groundbreaking solutions that will permanently alter our global landscape and the essence of what it means to be human.

As we navigate this rapidly changing terrain, it becomes clear that the impact of technological advancements can’t be measured in economic terms alone. The ongoing debate over whether AI or weight-loss drugs will have a more significant impact not only captivates our imagination but also reminds us of the broader challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in our interconnected world.

Larry Walsh is the CEO, chief analyst, and founder of Channelnomics. He’s an expert on the development and execution of channel programs, disruptive sales models, and growth strategies for companies worldwide. Follow him on Twitter at @lmwalsh_CN.

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